In the 1960s, a group of Canadians working for a company that invented 5-pin bowling brought air hockey into the world. Today, the game is enjoyed all around the world. While it’s commonly found in arcades, there are a number of consumer-grade tables that allow you to bring this exciting game into your own home. With so many different types of air hockey tables on the market, it can be a challenge to find out which one is right for your family. We’ll go in-depth and help you understand the options, helping you choose from some of the best air hockey tables for your game room!
When it comes to good air hockey tables there are few that easily stand out. There are also some which are often overlooked but can be a great bang for the buck. This is the reason we created our own list consisting of most of the great models on the market today. Each has its own pros and cons which you can further analyze in the full-sized reviews we did for each table. First, let’s take a look at our comparison chart where you will get a general idea of all the most we chose for 2022…
Best Air Hockey Tables- Comparison Chart
MD Sports Air Powered Hockey Table
MD Sports delivers the type of air hockey table that kids, teens, and adults can appreciate. True to the classic style and design of the air hockey tables of old, their latest model is a replica of the air hockey tables you knew and loved as a kid. The table’s arcade-style design, coupled with the large smooth playing surface will give you the perfect setup for a challenging game with family and friends. Additionally, the powerful blower system and the vivid lights, graphics, and sound effects will make you feel as though you’ve gone back in time, to an age when air hockey ruled.
The table measures 90 by 48 inches on its playfield which is more than good enough for kids and adults to have tons of fun. The table is fairly easy to set up and weighs approximately 180 lbs when fully assembled, making it stay sturdy in its place. The large leg levelers help with stability on almost all surfaces, although it works best when put on hard floors.
The MD Sports air hockey table comes with two sets of pucks and pushers, allowing for 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 plays. One feature that I absolutely love is the overhead scoring system which houses the automatic scorer as well as some LED lighting. If I have to criticize it for something is that it can get in your field of view depending on the angle.
As a whole, this table is one of the most well-rounded models on the market today and offers all the features and performance you’d expect from a model in this price class. If you haven’t yet set your mind on a particular air hockey table, put this one on your shortlist!
- Ideal for kids and adults
- Premium build-quality
- Very stable
- Cool-looking design
- Comes with 4 pucks and 4 paddles
- Powerful blower motor
- Slick playing surface
- Very expensive for people on a tight budget
- The surface scratches somewhat easily
- The scoring mechanism is known to be faulty
ESPN Air Hockey Game Table
A great full-sized table that incorporates many of the same features you’ll find on the top air hockey tables at your local arcade, the ESPN Sports Air Hockey Game Table features a variety of bells and whistles players of all skill levels can appreciate. Players will also love the built-in cupholders, bright LED light scoring system, and the storage space designed to keep your strikers and pucks organized until the next game.
All that aside, this table isn’t all looks. In fact, it’s incredibly durable, equipped with protective corner caps, and designed with tops rails and full panel leg supports for the ultimate pro setup. The composite body is also quite lightweight compared to other tables in this price class. This is both a pro and con since it makes the table much easier to set up and move around but also makes it less sturdy when played by larger adults.
One of the best features of this table is definitely its playing surface. It uses a 3/4 inch thick magnetic playfield that gets its air from a premium blower motor underneath it. This allows for smooth and slick puck plays without any significant dead spots.
With the ESPN air hockey table, you also get 4 pucks and 4 pushers which allows multiplayer games. Pair that with the automatic scoring system and you will have tons of fun on your hands! The table also comes in two shorter versions with 6 and 5 feet playfields respectively. While the smaller models are cheaper, this one brings the most value for your money and is your best option if you want to get something that will work for both kids and adults!
- Decent price
- Overhead LED scoring system
- Good-looking and functional design
- Easy to assemble and level
- Comes with 4 pucks and 4 paddles
- Built-in cup holders
- Has sound effects
- Not very heavy and sturdy
- The build quality isn’t stellar
Triumph Lumen-X Lazer Air Hockey Table
If you’re not sure where to begin, the Triumph Lumen-X Lazer 6′ Interactive Air Hockey Table is a great starting point. It excels in almost every category, offering a great compromise between price and performance. It’s large enough to get the full game experience but compact enough that most consumers will be able to find a space for it. The lower price is what makes the Lumen-X Lazer such a good option for people looking for an air hockey table for their kids. And while its 6 feet playfield is suitable for small and big kids, it isn’t ideal for adults.
This table boasts quite a good build quality. Despite that, it weighs quite low at 75 pounds which compromises some of its stability. The low weight has a huge upside to it, though. It makes the table incredibly easy to set up and move around in case you want to rearrange your room.
For its playfield, it uses a laminate playfield paired with high-quality blower motors below it that produce a consistent airflow across the whole playing surface. When you factor in the cool-looking design and unique all-around LED lighting, you can be sure that this is one of your best bets for a stylish and entertaining game room!
- Geared towards kids
- Very easy to assemble
- In-rail LED lighting system
- In-game music
- Comes with a light-up puck and 2 paddles
- Not too sturdy
- Not suitable for adults
- Material quality is not great
NHL 84″ Inch Air Powered Hockey Table
The NHL Air Powered Hockey Table is one of the most well-rounded models for this year and it is so packed full of features that it will make your head spin. Despite its slightly higher price tag, this table is worth every penny you give for it. Thanks to its full-sized dimensions, it can handle both kids and adults playing on it with ease. As a bonus, you even have the Boston Bruins logos and colors as well as the NHL logos all around the table, adding to the hockey atmosphere of this model!
The build quality here is fantastic, with a scratch-resistant playfield and sturdy legs. Each of the legs ends with a wide, round leg leveler that allows the table to sit firmly on all types of surfaces. One very unique of this particular model is the forward goal design which makes the gameplay much more hokey-like and unique. The score is kept through an automatic scoring system which gives each player the results via the four LED screens on both sides of the field. On each scoring unit, there is a display with the time, as well as a speaker with real arena sounds.
Due to it being a bit bulky, you’d want to have at least 12 by 8 feet of room for the table to sit well and be played comfortably. It comes with 4 pucks and 4 paddles, allowing 1 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 games. As a whole, if you want something to go well with your NHL-themed game room, this is a perfect choice, albeit a bit expensive.
- Unique NHL design
- Light-up goal
- Forward goal design
- Comes with 4 pucks and 4 paddles
- Built-in holders for the pucks and paddles
- 4 beverage holders
- Wide leg levelers
- 4 LED scoring displays with speakers
- Not ideal for young kids
- A bit expensive
- There are slight dead zones where the puck might get stuck
- The automatic scoring system isn’t perfect
ESPN Sports Air Hockey Game Table
Just like its bigger brother, this smaller version of the ESPN air hockey table is priced perfectly into its segment. It is obviously geared towards small kids and is practical enough to be at the top of your shopping list for the upcoming holidays!
One of the main benefits of being a smaller version of a full-sized professional air hockey table is the fact that you can get many of the bigger parts used here. This is exactly why this small 5-feet air hockey table has a superb blower motor and a somewhat reliable automatic scoring system. Its surface is slick, the air is consistent with little to no dead spots and the construction is quite durable, albeit a bit flimsy if you lean on it too much.
The 3/4 inch thick magnetic playfield paired with the motor delivers good performance for this price class and is worth having as an introductory air hockey table for your kids. For that price, you also get 4 pucks and 4 paddles, and some awesome ESPN graphics all around the table to keep the kids engaged at all times!
- Well built
- Excellent for kids
- 4 pucks and 4 paddles
- Automatic scoring system with LED displays
- Slick playing field
- Cool graphics
- Easy to install and move around
- Not great for older kids and adults
- Not very stable
- Deliveries take some time
- Packages can arrive damaged
Hathaway Midtown 6′ Air Hockey Family Game Table
The Hathaway Midtown Air Hockey Table is one of the more stylish products you’re going to find on this list. Price-wise, it sits comfortably in the mid-range and presents itself as a great option for anyone looking for something with an old-school game table design. The cherry finish combined with the engineered wood on this table creates a good-looking and fairly sturdy construction that is perfect for kids. However, due to its small footprint and relatively low weight, this table isn’t exactly suitable for older kids and adults.
One of the main features of the Hathaway Midtown is the fact that it comes with a slick poly-sealed playing surface. That playfield is lined with nearly 2000 holes that have air blow through them via the blower motor inside the table. The airflow is consistent and stable, without any dead spots on the surface. However, it struggles to keep up with hours of continuous gameplay and might feel a bit noisy, depending on the environment. Setting it up is easy thanks to the smaller dimensions and weight. The four large leg levelers help with stabilizing the table even on carpeted floors.
On top of that table, there is an automatic score counted with a large LED display. The take comes with 2 paddles and 4 pucks, although it still sits a bit higher in its price class than similar competitors. If you’re looking for something traditional-looking for your kids’ game room, this is a solid option.
- Automatic LED scoring system
- Chrome-plated corners
- Poly-sealed surface
- Great for younger kids
- The blower motor isn’t too loud
- Traditional looks
- Cherry finish
- A bit more expensive than its competitors
- Not a good option for older kids or adults
- Check for transport issues upon delivery
Brunswick 7ft Air Hockey Table – Shutout
The Shutout air hockey table by Brunswick is large, elegant, and designed for all types of players who enjoy a challenging game of air hockey in the comfort of their own homes. The simple design, clean lines, and UL-certified powerful blower system easily put this table in a class all its own. The table’s durability and reasonable pricing will also make potential buyers give this table a second look. Considering the full-size design, you’ll need to take careful measurements in order to ensure this table can smoothly fit into a dedicated spot in your home.
If you’re familiar with the brand, you won’t be surprised to learn that this table makes no exception when it comes to their usual build quality. It is made out of dense fiber wood combined with wide and sturdy legs. The four legs end with circular leg levelers that help with adjusting the table on all types of surfaces. In terms of design, this table is as minimalist as they come. It doesn’t have an automatic scoring system, rather uses a dual-style abacus scoring unit on both sides. The flat top of the Shutout is also compatible with Brunswick’s 7-ft table tennis conversion tops. Thanks to its design it can be played by both kids and adults.
With the table, you get 2 paddles and 4 pucks which work great with the table’s playfield. As a whole, you get what you paid for with this particular air hockey table, as it delivers stable and consistent performance on par with other models in this class.
- Minimalist design
- Sturdy construction
- Slick playing surface
- Comes with accessories
- UL Blower Motor
- Easy-to-adjust leg levelers
- Large 7-feet playfield
- A bit too expensive
- Not very heavy
- Not ideal for professional players
Valley-Dynamo Fire Storm Air Hockey Table
Perhaps as one of the most eccentric air hockey tables on the market, the Valley-Dynamo Fire Storm definitely earns its place among the best. Don’t be fooled by its eye-catching looks, though. Under its skin, this table is as professional as they come. It is, in fact, one of the most expensive and well-performing models on this list, also one of the biggest in terms of its playing field.
The Fire Storm is built like a tank with solid wooden frames and wide legs that end with sturdy leg levelers. The table is geared towards commercial use and is built with non-stop usage in mind. It achieves impressive consistency even after hours of usage and is as close as it gets to professional air hockey tournament tables. The UV-coated surface glows under the light coming from the overhead scoring unit which also houses a big LED light. There are two bright displays on each side that show you the home/away score as well as additional LED lighting on both sides of the table.
Dimensions-wise, it is quite bulky and the installation is a 4-man job. The table also weighs almost 500 lbs, making it very heavy to transport or move around, although it is extremely stable once installed. It can be operated via a coin mechanism or manually, with the automatic scoring system taking care of the score tracking. The table comes with 2 paddles and 2 pucks, one of which is a fluorescent green puck. All in all, if you’re looking for one of the best-performing and biggest air hockey tables on the market, you can’t go wrong with this one.
- Incredible design
- Overhead scoring displays and lighting
- UV-coated playfield
- Powerful blower motor
- Consistent performance
- Can be used in commercial settings
- Ideal for professionals or game halls, clubs, or bars
- Built-in 200W speakers
- Very expensive
- Extremely heavy
- Difficult to install
NHL Sting Ray Air Powered Hockey Table
The NHL Sting Ray is a decent alternative to more expensive air hockey tables. It features fairly good build quality with surprisingly good performance for its price class. Thanks to its full-sized dimensions, it can be played by both kids and adults. The air hockey table is part of a much larger line of NHL products with the exception that this one isn’t branded after one of the major NHL teams.
The Sting Ray is made out of an MDF frame with a scratch-resistant table surface on top and metal outside corners that protect the frame. On the playfield itself, it has one unique feature that lacks on most other air hockey tables – the power corners. They are slightly protruded into the playfield and serve the purpose of bouncing the puck off the corners at faster speeds. What this does is improve the gameplay and pace of play at the same time. The table comes with a consistent, yet slightly loud blower motor that leaves no dead spots on the surface.
With the Sting Ray, you get 4 pucks and 4 paddles which helps with 2 vs 2 games as you won’t have to buy extra accessories. There are wide-leg levers that help you adjust the table. The set-up process isn’t difficult and the table isn’t too heavy for a large air hockey table, making it easy to move around and adjust. It also has some cool features like a built-in automatic scoring system with 2 LED displays that keep track of the score. In conclusion, despite the heavy competition in this price class, this table stands its own ground well and is a decent alternative to some other models from well-known brands.
- Decent blower motor performance
- Comes with 4 pucks and 4 paddles
- LED displays
- Automatic scoring system
- Power corners
- Easy to set-up
- Build quality isn’t stellar
- Not very sturdy
- The frames and playing surface can break
- The blower motor is noisy
Atomic Avenger 8’ Hockey Table
Last on this list, and maybe for a good reason is the Atomic Avenger 8 foot air hockey table. It is a large and expensive option that checks a lot of boxes but also has a few shortcomings. The base and frame of the table are made out of engineered wood, which adds quite a lot of weight to the whole table. That weight makes it a bit harder to transport and set up once you receive it. However, once fully set up, the table is very sturdy and can be played by both kids and adults. The 5.5-inch leg levelers help with further stabilizing the table as well.
The 120V blower motor is very powerful and leaves no dead spots on the playfield. The table is equipped with an automatic scoring system. However, it doesn’t keep a very accurate track of the score, especially when a faster goal has been made. Despite that, there are still some cool features to make up for it. For example, on both sides of the table, there are small LED screens that you the home and away scores as well as the time. There are touch-sensitive controls that control the volume, time, and power of the table. The playfield has a lot of holes which makes for a faster game pace and is made out of 1-inch thick gloss MDF.
With the Avenger, you get 2 pucks and 2 paddles which is actually a shame since the size allows for some great 2 vs 2 games and you will have to get an additional set of pucks and paddles to be able to play those types of games. If you’re not on a tight budget, this is actually quite a good alternative but I think that its price-to-value ratio isn’t as good as some other tables in its price class.
- Huge playing surface
- Ideal for larger game rooms
- Consistent blower motor performance
- Slick playing surface
- Sturdy frame
- Large leg levelers
- The automatic scoring system doesn’t work perfectly
- The LED displays and touch buttons can malfunction
- Bulky dimensions
Air Hockey Tables Buyer’s Guide
Before you can understand what goes into a high-quality air hockey table, we first need to understand how they work. The ultimate goal is to create a frictionless surface. This allows the puck to travel at high speeds, maintaining the exact direction you hit it. When this is done well, you’d be surprised at how accurately you can direct the puck into the goal. Anyway, let’s go deeper into it all.
How Do Air Hockey Tables Work?
There are three main factors that determine how well a play surface works. These are:
- Surface Materials
- Blower Motors
The airflow keeps the puck slightly elevated above the table, while the surface material changes the speed and direction. They are both attributes that have to create the perfect combination for a smooth game. Let’s take a closer look at each of them.
The most important thing to look for is a nice smooth surface. They usually have a laminate material placed over wood, although a plastic coating can also be effective.
We often favor laminate as there is a smooth clear coat applied over all of the graphics.
If the graphics are raised, they can create areas of varying friction that slow down or redirect the puck. This isn’t easy to notice for beginners, but experienced players can find it frustrating.
If you look closely, you’ll see hundreds of tiny holes in the playing surface. Air escapes through these holes to keep the puck elevated. The most well-made table we’ve ever used had holes that were almost invisibly placed very close to each other. This gives a nice even coverage, keeping the puck’s elevation consistent throughout the whole surface.
Inexpensive tables use fewer but larger holes. These still work well at high speeds, although the puck can get stuck if it’s traveling too slowly. The fewer holes there are, the more important the surface material becomes, so we’d usually look for a laminate in these situations.
Those motors affect how evenly the air is distributed. Most affordable air hockey tables use a single blower motor. This means that there can be more air pressure at the center of the table, and less around the edges. This can cause the puck to curve, or bounce off the sides of the table in an unexpected way.
So what does all of this mean for you?
If you’re just looking for a casual gaming experience, a single motor with a plastic surface will be fine. But if you want to develop your skill at air hockey, and play games that are more challenging, getting a high-quality surface with dual blower motors will be worthwhile.
Air Hockey Table Features
Now that you are familiar with the basics of air hockey tables, it’s time to show you the thought process you need to have in order to get the most out of your purchase. There are all sorts of aspects you need to pay attention to. The major ones are:
- Surface Type
- Blower Motors
- Materials and Durability
- Leg levelers
- Scoring Systems
- Power Source
- Customer Service
We already discussed surfaces and blowing motors so let’s go deeper into the other parts of a good table.
Air hockey tables are available in all shapes and sizes. Are you looking to recreate the arcade experience? Most tables in the arcade room are sized between 6 and 7 feet.
The larger play area is great for adults and gives you a lot more control over where the puck travels. Because the puck has to travel over a larger distance, you have a little more time to react, and can therefore execute more precise movements.
Your hands will be flying all over your end of the table, increasing the challenge and making it easier to score goals, not to mention how much more fun it all gets.
But not everyone has the space in their game room for such a large table. There are some compact models that measure as little as 5 feet diagonally. Not only are they space-saving, but these compact tables are much more enjoyable for children to use.
If you are really short on space or are looking for a table that is more specific to younger kids, there are tabletop air hockey tables that can be easily played anywhere in your home. They are lightweight, easy to set up, and can be carried virtually anywhere thanks to their minimalist design and compact dimensions. They are also fairly cheap, which is always a good thing!
Materials and Durability
The durability of a table is important to consider. Air hockey tables are typically made from MDF, a wood composite material that is strong but lightweight. How strong an air hockey table isn’t dependent on the type of material used, but how it is assembled.
The most comfortable tables have a tapered design, with several supporting bars that strengthen all of the weak points. These tables are usually quite large and heavy but can withstand aggressive play.
Of course, a commercial-grade table isn’t always necessary in the home. Some cheaper models are a little more squared off. These are fine as long as you aren’t leaning on them, and can still withstand a lot of use.
There are some models which are made primarily of plastic. As long as the playing surface is made from MDF, it’s fine to have plastic legs and enclosures. These tables are very lightweight and easy to assemble, but it’s important not to lean on them too much. We usually recommend lightweight tables for children.
Quick Tip: Air hockey is a game of precision. If you want to show your opponent what you’ve got, it’s important to make sure that the table is stable and secure. We always recommend that the table has some kind of built-in leveling system.
Usually, these are small feet on air hockey tables that can be adjusted by rotating them. They are screwed into the bottom of the table, so turning them one way or another can raise and lower them. This allows you to use your table on an unlevel surface, without having the puck always slant in one particular direction.
For regular or aggressive games, we’d recommend a table where the legs are tapered slightly outwards. This gives the table a nice stable stance. If you lean on or bump it, it’s not going to cause the table to shift and move.
Traditionally, scoring has always been done manually with Air Hockey Tables. Due to the fast-paced nature of the game, it can be hard to keep track. Plus, you’ll often encounter a scenario where the puck is traveling so fast that it bounces right back out of the goal area. For this reason, we always recommend an air hockey table with a digital scoring system built right in. This makes the game more fun and engaging since you won’t have to focus on keeping track.
Quick Tip: There are two different types of scoring systems out there. The most common is a simple counter. You play for as long as you want, and each goal will be tallied up. For an arcade-style game, you’ll want to get a timed scorekeeping system. These systems give you a set game length, with whoever has the highest score at the end declared the winner. There are also other types of scoring which are included in the official air hockey rules.
Scoring is typically kept track on a single LCD screen on the side of the table, but some high-end models have a split scoring system. This faces one display at each player, making it easy to get your score at a quick glance.
If you’ve only got the table itself, you’re not quite ready to enjoy a game! You’ll also want a set of strikers and pucks. Most companies include these with the table, although extras are always available.
Your typical striker is a small round paddle with a handle that sticks straight up. Some of the high-end strikers have a soft padded material on the bottom, so you don’t scratch up the table.
Even more advanced ones have an ergonomic handle that makes extended gameplay more comfortable. This isn’t something you’d want to write off as an ‘advanced players only’ accessory. It’s useful for anyone who wants to play for an extended period of time.
The pucks might seem like a simple item, but they can get pretty advanced. High-end pucks have an extremely smooth outer ring, with a small indent that allows them to glide more smoothly over the table. Occasionally, light-up pucks are used to flash when hit, adding a layer of excitement to the game.
Some users find that smaller pucks respond more precisely to motion and direction, and use these for training themselves. But we’d generally recommend sticking with the standard size.
If you’ve purchased a larger table, many consumers like to add an extra set of pucks and strikers to the mix. These will allow you to play two on two games, creating a collaborative environment.
Usually, air hockey tables come with an AC adapter that powers everything the table has. In some models, though, the scoreboard is powered by AA or AAA batteries. We recommend getting one with an AC adapter to avoid having to change the batteries constantly.
Having an air hockey surface that looks like an ice hockey rink will surely make things far more realistic apart from looking super cool. Those types of graphics generally make the game more exciting as well.
We’ve given you a pretty good overview of what we look for in the table specifically, but there is one other thing you need to consider – customer service. If you need to order a replacement part, get help assembling, or address a warranty issue, the quality of customer service could make or break your experience. We only recommend air hockey tables from a company with a local presence, you can call them up and get the help you need.
Last but definitely not least is the price of the air hockey table. Models range from low 100s to more than a few thousand dollars each. So, how much will a good air hockey table set you back?
The answer to this question depends primarily on what you want to use it for and how much are you willing to pay. If you’re looking for a simple but great lightweight hockey table for kids, there are several options that cost between $100 and $350. We find that this is the entry point for most tables, and anything cheaper tends to have some serious compromises.
In the $400 to $600 range, you’re getting into some pretty serious air hockey. Tables in this price range are usually very durable, well made, and large enough for adults to use. In this price range, you’re likely getting the best bang for your buck.
You’ll have something that provides a fun experience, can last a very long time, but won’t break the bank. This is usually the price point we’d recommend to the average consumer, who wants something reliable but doesn’t have much experience with air hockey.
Upwards of $700, you’re looking at professional-grade tables. These tables usually have advanced scoring systems, multiple blower motors, and incredible build quality. These tables are best suited for serious air hockey players, as the subtle improvements to the gameplay will allow them to finely tune their skills.
Even if you are a complete beginner, you’ll find that using a table like this will allow you to catch on to the game quickly. For the competitive types, this kind of practice at home will allow you to go out and destroy every one of your competitors in the arcade.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a good size for an air hockey table?
If we’re strictly speaking about the length, anything over 6 feet will feel big enough to have some decent fun. Kids’ tables can be 4-6 feet long and a few feet wide without ruining their experience. Adults, on the other hand, will have the most fun on a regulation-sized table, which is 8 feet in length and 4 feet in width. The issue with these tables, however, is that they are usually more expensive and harder to set up.
What is the most common air hockey table surface?
The majority of air hockey tables out there have a laminated top surface. Some manufacturers prefer using stainless steel for their models because it is easier to maintain. These surfaces are almost always treated with an anti-scratch layer that will prevent long-term wear and tear.
Do air hockey tables need to be plugged in?
Air hockey tables work by blowing air through the tiny holes that you can see on the playing surface. If you turn off the power to the blower motor, the puck will have far more friction with the table’s surface which will make it slide far less. Usually, most good tables are slick enough to allow the puck to move even without air. However, it will be far less fun playing like that as opposed to having the table turned on. Playing without turning on the table can also damage its surface.
Choosing the best air hockey tables for you and your friends can be a challenging task mainly due to the abundance of models out there. With our guide, we hope to help you out in this search for the ultimate table and give you some helpful insight. Either way, having an actual air hockey table in your living room is something that will surely make you excited when going home from work every day!